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Because I care (and I know you do too…) Suggestions for the HC powers that be...

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  • Because I care (and I know you do too…) Suggestions for the HC powers that be...

    First and foremost, I have no knowledge of code so I won`t pretend.

    But I know these HC forums were once the place to be. After some "revisions", which did not go over too well, to say the least, we lost many members out of frustration. I know many of us who have remained are from the old guard and that to me, says a lot. We remember how valuable this forum was and still can be. I think we should stop discussing the "good old days" and start thinking about the great days to come. So, lets start to discuss ways to regenerate activity.

    I`ll start…

    1) I think our greatest "feature" here is Mr. Anderton and those of us from the old guard. I`m not Craigs agent so I obviously don`t know what his contract looks like with various companies but I think if Craig wrote more reviews, and/or did more interviews, and/or did some how to videos, the site would generate new visitors. Put an emphasis on introducing gear, introducing skills, and attract the new users with the old.

    And then, there`s us… there are many wise musicians here who are ready, willing, and able to share their knowledge. But the forum has to attract these newbies first. I remember when I started out recording, Home and Studio Recording Magazine was my favorite because it wrote about the nuts and bolts of recording.

    Later, I got into EM because they did the same thing but they also had some really interesting articles, interviews, and most of all, I loved the look and feel of the magazine. And those reviews… they were honest. I remember reading a review once that said something along the lines of, "this gear is not fully developed. XYZ needs to go back to the bench before selling it…" It was honest. Today, thats unheard of. This was in the early 90s…

    2) Get rid of the political forum. Whats the point? What is accomplished with this forum on the site? Lets just focus on the music and keep politics out of it. I have my political POV just like everyone else but I steer away from that forum because its an utter waste of time.

    3) I almost hate to say this but I think the look of the site is cheesy. I know the look of a site does not necessarily reflect the content of the site but I think the site should have a more vintage look to it. Get rid of the blue fading into white and go with a more 50s-60s retro feel. Get rid of the white background and go with something that looks a bit more weathered…. off white as the text background??? Look at the tape op site for example..

    Thats all for now. I`d love to hear from all of you how we can assist HC in generating more visitors to the site and possibly improving the site.
    Last edited by Ernest Buckley; 02-07-2015, 01:42 PM.

  • #2
    I see the political forum as a repository/out house. It keeps people from polluting other forums here with political BS and gives them an outlet.
    ______________

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    • #3
      I see HC as a repository/out house. It keeps people from polluting other forums with political BS and gives them an outlet.
      Ken Lee on 500px / Ken's Photo Store / Ken Lee Photography Facebook Website / Blueberry Buddha Studios / Ajanta Palace Houseboat - Kashmir / Hotel Green View - Kashmir / Eleven Shadows website / Ken Lee Photography Blog / Akai 12-track tape transfers / MY NEW ALBUM! The Mercury Seven

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      • #4
        I'm going to speak as someone who has been through the various incarnations of SSS, back when it was housed on AOL, then musicplayer.com, then here (yes, I know I skipped Lynn Fuston's site). Through these incarnations, SSS was vibrant. We talked about current things, techniques, music, philosophies, and even sometimes personal stuff. People knew each other here. People made friends more readily. We met for dinners many times. But even if we didn't, we had fun here, and the interaction was plentiful.

        Then SSS moved to HC.

        Back then, HC had a horrible reputation among people who participated in forums. HC was full of piss and vinegar, of people arguing. It was largely where morons came to post. The move from musicplayer.com to HC was regarded by many as a bad move, as people thought that a lot of the stupidity, venom, and arguing would spill over to SSS.

        And it did a bit, although not nearly as bad as some thought.

        Why? Because a lot of the people simply bailed. They stopped coming here. In droves.

        This isn't revisionist history. Anyone who participated throughout these incarnations of SSS can tell you the same thing.

        Take a really great restaurant in a great neighborhood, and move it to the part of town where the smell of urine permeates the sidewalks, people warm their hands in trash can fires, and people will fight you for dissenting opinions, and that restaurant will be a ghost of its former self.

        And so it is with SSS.

        Meanwhile, the Keyboard Corner, which has stayed on musicplayer.com, continues to thrive.
        http://forums.musicplayer.com/ubbthr...eyboard_Corner
        Ken Lee on 500px / Ken's Photo Store / Ken Lee Photography Facebook Website / Blueberry Buddha Studios / Ajanta Palace Houseboat - Kashmir / Hotel Green View - Kashmir / Eleven Shadows website / Ken Lee Photography Blog / Akai 12-track tape transfers / MY NEW ALBUM! The Mercury Seven

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        • #5
          Now, some will perceive that as negative. No, it's not negative or positive or anything. That's what happened.

          How can SSS be vibrant and alive again?

          - Craig would have to be more involved, as he was with the previous incarnations.

          - The forum would have to be moved to some place where packs of morons do not congregate, a place where someone would actually support the forum, a place that could give it an infusion of energy and ideas like TapeOp or musicplayer.com or who knows where, I don't know. Right now, the forum is not supported in any meaningful way, and HC firing its admins only punctuates that point.

          - Forums are largely about participants and interaction. Well, we hardly have any. But the ones who are here would have to continually post interesting things that attract more people here. We keep saying that, yet more and more people keep staying away, so the first two points would have to occur if this is to follow.

          But at issue here is that Craig is too busy to moderate a forum, it takes time and energy to nurture a forum and to get it going, and perhaps the damage has been done for far too long. This forum has been losing participants for years, and especially in internet time, that's a very very long time.

          By the way, this isn't the first time I've made posts like these, so we can suggest all we want but I don't know what good it does. I don't think there's enough people who really care about it enough any more.
          Ken Lee on 500px / Ken's Photo Store / Ken Lee Photography Facebook Website / Blueberry Buddha Studios / Ajanta Palace Houseboat - Kashmir / Hotel Green View - Kashmir / Eleven Shadows website / Ken Lee Photography Blog / Akai 12-track tape transfers / MY NEW ALBUM! The Mercury Seven

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          • #6
            Originally posted by UstadKhanAli View Post
            Then SSS moved to HC.

            Back then, HC had a horrible reputation among people who participated in forums. HC was full of piss and vinegar, of people arguing. It was largely where morons came to post. The move from musicplayer.com to HC was regarded by many as a bad move, as people thought that a lot of the stupidity, venom, and arguing would spill over to SSS.

            And it did a bit, although not nearly as bad as some thought.

            Why? Because a lot of the people simply bailed. They stopped coming here. In droves.

            This isn't revisionist history. Anyone who participated throughout these incarnations of SSS can tell you the same thing.
            But they can't. Because they left here years ago.
            Ken Lee on 500px / Ken's Photo Store / Ken Lee Photography Facebook Website / Blueberry Buddha Studios / Ajanta Palace Houseboat - Kashmir / Hotel Green View - Kashmir / Eleven Shadows website / Ken Lee Photography Blog / Akai 12-track tape transfers / MY NEW ALBUM! The Mercury Seven

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            • #7
              Wow. Here we go with another HC crisis, I guess. sigh.....

              Question: how critical to HC as a going concern are the forums, anyway? I ask this solely out of honest ignorance, not implying anything. Yeah, forum participation at least where I go - SSS and the Songwriter's Forum - is just showing a pulse, barely. But....there's still all the HC content that I browse through from time to time, always something to learn or -relearn.

              What drives HC overall? Forums? Content? Craig?

              Put another way - what makes it worth the trouble in the eyes of the owners?

              nat whilk ii

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              • #9
                Originally posted by UstadKhanAli View Post
                Well, we all know the answer to that, don't we?

                Well, I might be dim, but I don't know the answer to that....

                To be more specific - in the smokey backrooms, looking at reports, there's traffic to the whole site, there's traffic in the forums, there's traffic to the articles, the want ads, etc. What uptick on what subcategory of traffic makes them happy? What downtick do they see and say, "well, that one doesn't matter much"? Is it all about advertisers, so the traffic that matters most is what makes the advertisers ante up for more? Maybe the advertising just offsets part of the cost and doesn't really drive the whole effort...

                I mean I could just assume "they don't care about us here in the forums" but I can't say I really know that as a fact. Running a business means all sorts of cross-currents have to be sorted out. Users, customers, take things personally that sometimes are anything but. Of course, sometimes what seems to be the case as felt by users is exactly the case.

                But I'd like to actually know a bit more about what goes on, what's going on. I mean, if some higher up posted an article saying, "Dear Forum Users - we'd like to enlist your support to help keep this wonderful site going. The most important thing going on right now is that there are not enough people posting to the Forums. You may not realize this, but it's Forum participation that we regard as the litmus test of the viability of Harmony Central as a whole. So please, continue to post and if you would, ask your friends, encourage the lurkers, and reach out to draw back those who've left if you could for the sake of this site. Without that, we can't speak to the future."

                Ya know?? Like let us know what's really going on????

                nat whilk ii

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                • #10
                  Wow, this is a rather refreshing perspective. As the purveyor of all things tech, I keep hearing member's blame the site and then go down particularly ugly and negative roads without describing any specific issues. Two things to note is that a) we've fixed most of the bugs or are diligently tracking the bugs that we can't replicate, and b) have optimized the Search Engine traffic to bring more people here - figuring that some of them will stick around. All on GCs dime - which makes me think they actually do care.

                  Then more often than seems necessary, an ugly rant about how much "HC sucks" shows up on some given forum, and everyone jumps in, AND then that Topic is at the top of the list for days if not weeks.

                  I do applaud this thread in that the gist is more about what the members can do to create content that attracts more members.

                  Yes, we still have some work to do, but the forums are running smoothly and more people are coming by.

                  As an added note, we just created the Community Voice forums where we can a) publicly track the bugs reports, b) get your feedback and c) move rants to a place where they do not disrupt the flow and/or scare off newcomers. BTW, I got blasted yesterday for moving some topics there.

                  One last thing, I like this rant (up to this point at least) and am ok with it... AND I'm not not about to start moderating Mr. Andertons forum :-)
                  Last edited by nucleus; 02-07-2015, 05:17 PM.

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                  • #11
                    As an added note, I'll leave moving the Rants up to the Admins and Moderators, across the board.

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                    • #12
                      It's true that SSS lost many people in the transition from Musicplayer to HC, but overall, there was a major increase in activity because the overall traffic was just so much more. But the reality is also that Musicplayer lost a lot more people when Phil, me, Lee, Gus, etc. moved to HC. It was on the way down anyway, so if a new home hand't been found, it was likely there wouldn't be a home at all. HC provided that home.

                      Even now, Musicplayer ranks 158,000th globally and HC, 38,000th. But also, don't forget that a lot of the SSS activity was split off when a separate forum was created for pro reviews instead of having them live in SSS. They got a huge amount of traffic. Also, I was the one doing the 100+ videos at NAMM shows, which also got a lot of traffic. Furthermore, there were a lot more forums to choose from. I regarded my contribution to the site as being divided among SSS, videos, Pro Reviews, and articles. Taken together, they generated far more traffic, views, and feedback than SSS ever did by itself.

                      SSS, HC, revenues ,and content continued to climb until 2010 when the Jive platform was introduced. That's what killed HC and SSS. I was in a hotel room in Germany covering Messe, and sending out emails begging the powers-that-were not to switch over to the new site. It was a disaster and never recovered. Eventually Craig Johnson at MF (a truly good guy) let us go back to VBulletin but it was too little, too late. We had to get off Jive and IMHO, the transition to Lithium - while to a more competent company - still had issues.

                      I just couldn't take it any more, and left. Dendy was stuck with the impossible job of putting Humpty-Dumpty back together again. He upset people and pushed hard. He got Jeremy and Nucleus to take over the site from Lithium and while there can be a debate about various elements, overall it's a considerable improvement on many levels, not the least of which is Nucleus's responsiveness to dealing with issues in light of not a lot of attention from elsewhere in the organization. And compared to Jive, it's not just a night and day difference, but night in the winter and day in the summer.

                      I don't know how GC looks at Harmony Central. When HC was part of MF, it was a marriage made in Heaven because both were 100% online entities. Between 2005 and the time MF was absorbed by GC, there were multiple offers to buy HC from MF. The answer was always "MF is not for sale at any price." And they meant it. GC lives in a different world, and I don't know whether they feel it's compatible with HC or not. Time will tell and I am not part of that decision-making process, nor privy to it.

                      I spend a lot of time on the Cakewalk forums these days for the obvious reasons, and they too continue to have an increase in traffic. There will be many changes happening with Cakewalk's site in the year ahead. Frankly, it's very exciting and some initiatives are getting attention at the highest levels of Gibson.

                      Now, let me add something. I always take the long term view. I also know that things go in cycles. And, I'm with a company that takes a long-term view. Do I think it's time for an online renaissance? Just remember, my AOL site and Musicplayer started from nothing. The internet is truly a place where if you build it, they will come if it has what people want. HC could come back as easily as it fell with the right ingredients and commitment. Always in motion, the future...
                      Simplicity, my new album project, is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

                      Subscribe, like, and share the links!

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                      • #13
                        Originally posted by nucleus View Post
                        Wow, this is a rather refreshing perspective. As the purveyor of all things tech, I keep hearing member's blame the site and then go down particularly ugly and negative roads without describing any specific issues.
                        I suppose you're being facetious. After all, I can't offer a "refreshing perspective" when I "keep blaming the site". But whatever.

                        Also, I did offer a specific issue. HC had a bunch of yahoos and morons and here. If that's not an issue, I'm not sure what is. It was well known for that, and who knows how many dozens of times I heard that when SSS was going to move here. I'm not making this up. I hadn't known HC or its reputation beforehand until many began grousing about the move.

                        And I offered more suggestions as well. I said Craig would have to be more involved, as he was with the previous incarnations, and I spoke about increased, better quality interactions.

                        Then more often than seems necessary, an ugly rant about how much "HC sucks" shows up on some given forum, and everyone jumps in, AND then that Topic is at the top of the list for days if not weeks.
                        But if the participants in HC do suck, does that invalidate that? Why is that "ugly"? If my honest assessment of the sort of people who existed when SSS came over is that there were a lot of idiots, does that make it ugly? Or does it make you guys the people with the issue? I dunno....this is the place that had things like Open Jam, and that was by far the most popular forum! So does that make my opinion of HC "ugly"? Or is the Open Jam "ugly"?

                        You'll notice that not at any time in this thread have I blamed the numerous technical difficulties in this. Now, those didn't help at all, and at times, it seemed utterly incompetent. But to me, that wasn't the bigger issue.

                        I do applaud this thread in that the gist is more about what the members can do to create content that attracts more members.
                        Hopefully there'll be some other suggestions besides mine. More hopefully, we can do something about it.

                        I know you don't like at least one of my suggestions because it involves moving from HC. And I'm sure you work very hard at getting this forum operating smoothly, so that hurts you, and that's not my intention. But look....SSS has been here for years, and it's only seen a decline in participation. You can do all the Google Analytics you want, but anybody who is being forthright knows that the fall-off in participation has been like an orange rolling off the table.

                        Yes, we still have some work to do, but the forums are running smoothly and more people are coming by.
                        The forum is definitely running more smoothly.

                        However, I don't see more people participating, but hey, we can always hope.

                        Again, if you're not sure about the participation, just have a look at Keyboard Corner, which remained on musicplayer.com. Or, if you can ask the jillions of people who bailed from this forum, you can ask them why they left. I'm telling you like it is. I don't have any agenda other than to try and offer an honest perspective.
                        Last edited by UstadKhanAli; 02-07-2015, 10:05 PM.
                        Ken Lee on 500px / Ken's Photo Store / Ken Lee Photography Facebook Website / Blueberry Buddha Studios / Ajanta Palace Houseboat - Kashmir / Hotel Green View - Kashmir / Eleven Shadows website / Ken Lee Photography Blog / Akai 12-track tape transfers / MY NEW ALBUM! The Mercury Seven

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                        • #14
                          From another thread....

                          Originally posted by Anderton View Post
                          But suffice it to say that SSS is now having its 20th anniversary and if anything, I'd like to be able to return it to the form it had back in the day. Stay tuned. Life is full of surprises.
                          ​Bravo. Sounds good.
                          Ken Lee on 500px / Ken's Photo Store / Ken Lee Photography Facebook Website / Blueberry Buddha Studios / Ajanta Palace Houseboat - Kashmir / Hotel Green View - Kashmir / Eleven Shadows website / Ken Lee Photography Blog / Akai 12-track tape transfers / MY NEW ALBUM! The Mercury Seven

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                          • #15
                            Please note that I was (and am) sincere about the "refreshing" perspective.

                            I've been a member (under a normy account) for over 8 years. Many of my equipment purchases have been guided or decided using the HC User Reviews - yeah I'm a guitar player of 35 years. I am honored to step up and help bring the community back to VB. You guys have someone who deeply cares. Please note that we (Nucleus) have been kicked in the teeth plenty by members of HC and stick around through thick and thin.

                            I (and the team at Nucleus) ARE here to help. We ask that the community keep that in mind when posting mean spirited messages, instead of factual stuff that helps us improve the site.
                            Last edited by nucleus; 02-07-2015, 11:40 PM.

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